You’ve Lost a lot of Blood by Eric LaRocca
The works of Eric LaRocca have been on my radar for a while now. However, this is only because of the cover art. Every time I see a book like You’ve Lost a lot of Blood show up on someone’s goodreads or instagram I’m taken in my the disturbing imagery and vibrant colors. So yes, I do judge books based on covers, we all do. A lot of work goes into cover art, you should!
Without knowing hardly anything about the content of this book I picked it up and finally gave it a shot. It opens with a note from the editor about his relationship with the two main characters, Ambrose and Martyr. He says that what follows will take the form of a manuscript, transcripts from conversations, poems, and a full novella written by Martyr before “the events.”
These ominous events are alluded to but not explained until the very end. All we know is that Martyr frequently fantasizes about gruesomely murdering his lover Ambrose. Throughout his writings we see his violent nature and his disturbing mind unfurl. We can only guess as to what monstrosity he becomes by the end.
The novella within the writings titled, You’ve Lost a lot of Blood, is about a developer named Tamsen recruited to work on a game that many only consider a myth. Rumor has it this game involves a perma kill feature that actually kills the player if they lose. She’ll be living in the mansion of its eccentric creator until it’s complete.
The novella within the book is compelling on its own. The surrounding text seems mostly unrelated. I kept waiting for it to really come full circle with a meaning. It does… in a way… just not the way you may expect. This could leave you unsatisfied but maybe you’re the type of reader that will really click with it. There’s a reason the reviews on this one are pretty polarized.
Personally, I was left unsatisfied. However, I love stories that are told in unusual ways and always give bonus points for creativity. You’ve Lost a lot of Blood reminded me of the structure of House of Leaves, it could be a good introduction into that kind of storytelling before you try to tackle that intimidating tome.
I will definitely read more from LaRocca. He clearly has originality and I’m always on the hunt for anything I haven’t read before. I cannot promise that you’ll like this short book but I can say that it will stand out from the other books you’ve read this year. Give it a shot if you like non-traditional horror and let me know what you think.
4/5 bloods 🩸🩸🩸🩸
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If you like You’ve Lost a lot of Blood you might also like Some of Your Blood.